‘Bumps, Babes and Beyond’: Mums group founded by Jodi Mercati and Becki Wallace Image Credit: Supplied

DUBAI: Imagine your kids being coached by a former English Premier League football player as you attend a boot camp by a former triathlete from the Danish National Team – all for free. This is the case at The Sustainable City on Al Qudra Road which was recently named Dubai’s happiest community. As many as six residents of the community who include a former worldclass athlete, yoga instructor, fitness trainer and other experts are training fellow residents or sharing their expertise for free!

1. Allan Nielsen

Former English Premier League player

Danish Allan Nielsen, who represented Tottenham Hotspur in the European Champions League in 1996 and Fifa World Cup 1998 provides free football coaching to kids living in the Sustainable City. The classes are held every Friday at 8.30am. Runnng for two years now, it is one of the first free sessions provided by a community resident. “I am very passionate about what I do. I love to train young boys and girls and some of the kids in our community are really good at their game,” says the 47 year old who moved to Dubai in 2013.

2. Irene Van Der Post

Resident yoga instructor

Irene, who moved to Dubai in January last year, hosts regular yoga sessions for the community. The 36-year-old said, “The Sustainable City is one of a kind. No other community in Dubai impressed me as much as Sustainable City. Our neighbours and other people within the vicinity were very helpful and this is my way of giving back to them. When you do yoga, you understand and bond better with each other.” The free sessions are followed by a tea party where residents interact with each other.

3. Vladimir Djunisijevic

Personal trainer

Djunisijevic, who hosts boot camp sessions, has been a resident of The Sustainable City for a year and a half. He conducts free boot camp sessions for residents every third Tuesday of the month. “I want to encourage fellow residents towards sports and physical activities. It’s amazing that everyone comes together for a tough session and goes back smiling,” said the Serbian expat.

4. Shatha Al Kaud

Arabic reading sessions

Shatha, who has been living in the community for over a year, hosts free Arabic book reading sessions at her residence every Tuesday. “At the beginning of this year my neighbour and I encouraged our kids to dedicate some time to reading Arabic literature. Soon after, we opened the platform to the community,” said Shatha, who hails from Saudi Arabia. “It’s a fun way of learning Arabic,” she added.

5. Team Angel Wolf

Free training for triathlons

Team Angel Wolf, headed by former British Royal Marine trainer and fitness expert Nick Watson, conducts free triathlon training sessions for fellow residents. Watson has a son who was born with a rare chromosome disorder and the family of four regularly takes part in races and events to promote healthy living and encourage inclusion of people with disabilities. “I conduct a cycling session on Sundays, an interval running session on Monday evenings, strength and body conditioning classes on Wednesday and swimming session at La Mer on Thursdays,” said the 48-year-old.

6. Jodi Mercati and Becki Wallace

Founders of mums group ‘Bumps, Babes and Beyond’

British expats Jodi Mercati and Becki Wallace run a mums group called ‘Bumps, Babes and Beyond’. The group is aimed at helping fellow mothers and new mothers to learn from each other. “We have coffee mornings, playdates for kids and a weekly ‘power walk’ every Tuesday morning,” said Mercati, 30. She and Wallace have been residents of The Sustainable City for two years.